Digital marketing is probably the fastest-changing marketing field out there: New tools are being built, more platforms emerge and more channels need to be included into your marketing plan. How not to get overwhelmed while staying on top of the latest marketing trends? Here are a few tools that help you scale and automate some parts of your marketing routine making you a more productive and empowered marketer: Tools to Semi-Automate Marketing Tasks 1.

Search engines are a powerful channel for connecting with new audiences. Companies like Google and Bing look to connect their customers with the best user experience possible. Step one of a strong SEO strategy is to make sure that your website content and products are the best that they can be. Step 2 is to communicate that user experience information to search engines so that you rank in the right place. SEO is competitive and has a reputation of being a black art. Here’s how to get started the right way.
The research shows that most people trust recommendations from social influencers, friends, and family much more than a company’s advertising and promotion. That’s why influencer marketing is such a powerful way to raise awareness of your products and services, and it should be integrated within your social media marketing plan. Of course, it’s important to find the right influencers to help promote your business. To do this, hire an influencer marketing expert to match you with influencers who are respected by the target audience you want to reach.
Your program or organization probably doesn't have the resources of the Pepsi-Cola Corporation. But you can use this information on a smaller scale, and have very positive results. You might find out, for example, that many women aren't using the science and math tutoring center because everyone who works there is male, and (women feel) the tutors are often sexist and discouraging towards women. What the women want is to have some female tutors as well.
The seller, whether a solo entrepreneur or large enterprise, is a vendor, merchant, product creator, or retailer with a product to market. The product can be a physical object, like household goods, or a service, like makeup tutorials. Also known as the brand, the seller does not need to be actively involved in the marketing, but they may also be the advertiser and profit from the revenue sharing associated with affiliate marketing.
Mistake #5: Promoting a lot of affiliate products instead of just a few. Once you start affiliate marketing, you realize how easy it is to share affiliate links. Instead of becoming an affiliate for a lot of different products and sharing them liberally, I recommend concentrating on just a few and sharing them intentionally. It doesn’t seem as spammy, plus you can be sure the products you do promote are closely aligned with your brand and message. Deep is better than wide.
Many business owners (mistakenly) treat their website as if it were an online brochure. This is a serious error! Your website is not a brochure, it’s a virtual sales rep with a built-in sales funnel (and if it’s not, it should be!). But, no matter how great your website is, it can’t generate leads and sales without traffic. Let Blue Corona show you how to create an online marketing strategy that works—transforming your web presence into a lead generation empire!
After that, you need to make a choice about how to construct an online presence that helps you achieve that goal. Maybe you need to set up an e-commerce site. If you’re interested in publishing content to drive awareness and subscribers, look into setting up a blog. A simple website or landing page with a lead capture form can help you start developing your brand and generating traffic. A basic analytics platform (like Google Analytics, which is free) can help you start to measure how you are tracking towards your initial goal.
A good amount of marketing on the internet can be done for free, but sometimes it's worth spending some money on effective and professional looking options. For example, although you can get free web hosting, it's not recommended. Ideally, you should pay for web hosting to make sure that your website doesn't experience downtime, as well as a professional domain name. Fortunately, you can buy both for less than $100 a year.
"Jim, Wanted to touch base with you on an update. We should have a better understanding when were starting back up in the next 2-4 weeks. Good news is that it looks like your link building efforts are paying off like we talked about. Over the past 2 days our free google traffic has seen new highs. So we were on a steady down trend for 5 months and over the past 2 weeks we have seen a steady increase to new highs of over that of last summer." Andrew G.
Internet marketing, or online marketing, refers to advertising and marketing efforts that use the Web and email to drive direct sales via electronic commerce, in addition to sales leads from websites or emails. Internet marketing and online advertising efforts are typically used in conjunction with traditional types of advertising such as radio, television, newspapers and magazines.

Brian Dean, an SEO expert and the creator of BackLinko, uses SEO tactics to rank #1 on YouTube for keywords like “on page SEO” and “video SEO”. Initially, Dean admits his YouTube account struggled to get any views. Employing SEO methods like keyword optimization has enabled Dean to rise to #1 on YouTube for search results related to his business. He published his full strategy on Backlinko.


Social marketing messages can aim to prevent risky health behaviour through education or the promotion of behavioural alternatives. Early anti-drug messages in the US sought to prevent, whereas the antismoking campaigns of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Legacy Foundation offered socially desirable lifestyle alternatives (be “cool” by not smoking).12,13 The challenge for social marketing is how best to compete against product advertisers with bigger budgets and more ways to reach consumers.
Okay, if you're still with me, fantastic. You're one of the few that doesn't mind wading through a little bit of hopeless murkiness to reemerge on the shores of hope. But before we jump too far ahead, it's important to understand what online marketing is and what it isn't. That definition provides a core understanding of what it takes to peddle anything on the web, whether it's a product, service or information.
Another way to find this information is to do a simple Google search. For example, one could place the following phrase into Google Search:  “(product name) + affiliate program”. (Replace “product name” with the name of the product you are promoting.) There is an interesting chrome addon called Affilitizer is available which makes this process easy.

In addition to completing a SWOT for your overall marketing plan, it is often helpful to do a SWOT analysis for the different segments within your marketing plan. For example, as we will discuss further down in this piece, content marketing, social media and SEO will all be important parts of your overall inbound marketing plan and would benefit from SWOTs of their own.


"You and the team at Internet Marketing Ninjas have been great, demonstrating the quality of your work through useful recommendations, reports and top-notch content that has won us some great links. Thank you. In turn, I trust that we have been good clients over the past few months offering no hassles, no payment issues, quick implementation of content and good communication throughout our engagements. We plan on continuing to work with you for quite sometime." Sara C.

It's all too common for digital marketing activities to be completed in silos whether that's a specialist digital marketer, sitting in IT or a separate digital agency. It's easier that way to package digital marketing into a convenient chunk. But of course, it's less effective. Everyone agrees that digital media work best when integrated with traditional media and response channels. We always recommend developing an integrated digital marketing strategy and once Digital Transformation is complete digital marketing activities will be part of your marketing plan and part of business as usual.
In 2004 in the US teens spent $105 billion and influenced another $48 billion. In 1998 US companies spent $200 billion on advertising. Teens are exposed to 3000 ads a day. Eighty three percent of teens reported going online in 2004.14 Teens are a priority market for commercial marketing in America today, and tens of millions of dollars are invested in teen research. Here are some of the beliefs about teens that emerge from that experience.
Create awareness and interest. The recipient must get the message, literally. You have to get the recipient's attention. The message needs to be brought to women all over the country, including village women who are generally illiterate, speak only a local dialect, and who often don't have access to television or radios. Also, the recipient must understand the message. Not only does the message need to be conveyed to the women in a language they understand; it needs to make sense for the their lives as well. For women in Africa, wealth and status have traditionally been tied up in how many children they bear. The idea of having fewer children hasn't made sense because doing so would have hurt their standing in the community, even if it would improve their health.
The final stage of any marketing planning process is to establish targets (or standards) so that progress can be monitored. Accordingly, it is important to put both quantities and timescales into the marketing objectives (for example, to capture 20 percent by value of the market within two years) and into the corresponding strategies. Marketers must be ready to update and adapt marketing plans at any time. The marketing plan should define how progress towards objectives will be measured. Managers typically use budgets, schedules and marketing metrics for monitoring and evaluating results. With budget, they can compare planned expenditures with actual expenditures for given period. Schedules allow management to see when tasks were supposed to be completed and when they actually were. Marketing metrics tracks actual outcomes of marketing programs to see whether the company is moving forward towards its objectives (P. Kotler, K.L. Keller).
Contact us today for a free consultation. Tell us about your situation and we’ll provide you with candid recommendations for online marketing services. Click on the services above to learn more, read our online marketing case studies detailing actual results we’ve produced for business just like yours, or pick up the phone and call us today at 800.696.4690!

Figure 1 summarises the basic elements or stages of social marketing.6 The six basic stages are: developing plans and strategies using behavioural theory; selecting communication channels and materials based on the required behavioural change and knowledge of the target audience; developing and pretesting materials, typically using qualitative methods; implementing the communication programme or “campaign”; assessing effectiveness in terms of exposure and awareness of the audience, reactions to messages, and behavioural outcomes (such as improved diet or not smoking); and refining the materials for future communications. The last stage feeds back into the first to create a continuous loop of planning, implementation, and improvement.
Many business owners (mistakenly) treat their website as if it were an online brochure. This is a serious error! Your website is not a brochure, it’s a virtual sales rep with a built-in sales funnel (and if it’s not, it should be!). But, no matter how great your website is, it can’t generate leads and sales without traffic. Let Blue Corona show you how to create an online marketing strategy that works—transforming your web presence into a lead generation empire!
For example, in a campaign to reduce the spread of AIDS, marketers discuss the problem with members of their target groups, and find clients have many different beliefs and attitudes about the disease. Some people are still unsure of what exactly AIDS is, or all of the ways it can be spread--they need to be brought to the "knowledge about the problem" stage. Others believe it is not a problem for them personally, or that "AIDS doesn't exist in our town;" these people are ready for messages on the problem's importance. Still others may believe in the problem's importance, and have taken actions to protect themselves, but do not do so consistently; they are having difficulty maintaining that change.
2. Improved brand loyalty. According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. The report concludes “Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.” Another study published by Convince&Convert found that 53% of Americans who follow brands in social are more loyal to those brands.
However, if you are seasoned online marketer, and you've built a substantial following, then marketing as an affiliate might be the right fit. Jason Stone from Millionaire Mentor has built a seven-figure business with affiliate marketing, while David Sharpe from Legendary Marketer has built up an eight-figure business by creating an army of affiliates that market products in collaboration with his team.
According to the U.S. Commerce Department, consumers spent $453.46 billion on the web for retail purchases in 2017, a 16.0% increase compared with $390.99 billion in 2016. That’s the highest growth rate since 2011, when online sales grew 17.5% over 2010. Forrester predicts that online sales will account for 17% of all US retail sales by 2022. And digital advertising is also growing strongly; According to Strategy Analytics, in 2017 digital advertising was up 12%, accounting for approximately 38% of overall spending on advertising, or $207.44 billion.

There are a few social behaviors, such as using a seat belt, that remain constant over a long period of time, that are easy to execute, and that become part of the driving experience. These can be said to be sustainable, as long as a dramatic new event does not occur. Remember we once thought that breast self‐examination was the best way for women to detect breast cancer early; then our science changed. In social marketing the cost of marketing has to be built into the cost of programs. The level of marketing costs often varies over the lifetime of a behavior or product. Launch and introduction are often the most expensive, maintenance can cost less, and reviving an old idea can cost somewhere in between.
Your mission statement is the foundation of your marketing plan. Although it may not play a direct role in your marketing activities, the mission statement focuses on your business goals and helps you make sure that your marketing activities support the business's overall objectives. It's an effective tool to refer back to whenever you start to question if you are still on the right track.
"Looks great. Organic traffic has been holding steady at Feb/March levels when normally it declines from April onwards. Because of the seasonal nature of the business it is difficult to measure the exact impact, but I can tell you our organic traffic is currently almost 3 times what it was this time last year. All down to you guys! The trick for us is to try and sustain it throughout the summer, keeping our slow season as short as possible!" Ivan L.
One of your primary goals in conducting research is to set focus areas, which are the discipline in your plan, says Albritton. "It's easy to fragment your efforts without discipline," she says. "So set a clear definition for the type of customers you want." At this point you should tackle your priority geography and begin focusing on the product and service offering you do best.
Once you have your strategy in place its time to decide what tactics are most important to the success of that strategy. For example, a company might decide to focus on four main tactics for the year: blog creation, a website re-vamp, SEO improvement and custom list development for email campaigns. While they may still want to work on their social media strategy and PR, for the year in question, they will devote the majority of their budget towards the four main tactics listed while continuing to allocate smaller budgets towards social media and PR, to keep them running. In addition, tactical calendars will be needed to help lay out the specifics of each tactic. For example, an editorial calendar will be needed for the content blogging strategy.
Finally, pretest your ideas and messages. At this point, you've put a lot of time and work into your messages, and you're probably in a hurry to make them public. Pretesting your ideas with a few members of your target audience, however, is a very important step. Your message might be ineffective for reasons you hadn't thought of, or it could be insulting to members of your target audience. Pretesting stops an organization from embarrassing itself publicly, and lets you run messages with added assurance that they will say what you want them to.
It's also important to understand exactly what motivates customers to buy. Are your clients looking for savings or a way to simplify their lives, for example, or are they just shopping for pleasure? Ask yourself why they would buy your product or service. In the same vein, you may want to know what keeps customers away from your competitors’ products or services. Are they too costly? Do they lack something unique? These insights will help you develop a product or service that outshines the competition.

Once you have built a subscriber email list of potential customers who may be interested in your products or services, email marketing is a very effective way to get the message out. You can keep them up to date with company news, upcoming events, and special offerings. You can send out newsletters and customized product or service offerings specific to the customer's needs.

The truth? Today, rising above the noise and achieving any semblance of visibility has become a monumental undertaking. While we might prevail at searching, we fail at being found. How are we supposed to get notice while swimming in a sea of misinformation and disinformation? We've become immersed in this guru gauntlet where one expert after another is attempting to teach us how we can get the proverbial word out about our businesses and achieve visibility to drive more leads and sales, but we all still seem to be lost.


If your audience is looking to launch an online business, migrate their ecommerce platform, or simply interested in ecommerce content, we encourage you to apply for the BigCommerce affiliate program. Our team will carefully review your application. Once approved, you will receive access to support, tracking, reporting, payments, and have your own unique affiliate link to track every referral you generate. BigCommerce is committed to the success of our affiliate partners.


At HubSpot, we’ve built our marketing team from two business school graduates working from a coffee table to a powerhouse of over 200 employees. Along the way, we’ve learned countless lessons that’ve shaped our current content marketing strategy, so we decided to illustrate our insights in a blog post to teach marketers how to develop a successful content marketing strategy, regardless of their team’s size.
In 1999, I started this company with the mission statement, “We will work toward bringing in the greatest amount of relevant traffic to our clients’ websites, using the most ethical methods available.” That mission remains true today. Over the years, the game has evolved; the rules have changed and how the game of SEO is played has changed, but our services today still remain true to our original mission.
Since 2006, I’ve spoken at more than 100 SEO and Internet marketing conferences including: Pubcon, SMX, ClickZ, Digital Summit, and SEOktoberfest. My panel topics are often about link building, penalties, and SEO tools, but in 2019, I’ll be presenting on featured snippet optimization and “the perfect page” at a couple of conferences. Even though I know a ton about link building and content marketing, I’m excited to share knowledge in other areas.
This introductory section contains an overview of your situation as it exists today and will provide a useful benchmark as you adapt and refine your plan in the coming months. Begin with a short description of your current product or service offering, the marketing advantages and challenges you face, and a look at the threats posed by your competitors. Describe any outside forces that will affect your business in the coming year--this can be anything from diminished traffic levels due to construction if you're a retailer or a change in law that could affect a new product introduction if you're an inventor, for example.
Thats a great point, and I’ve definitely seen my fair share of those “how to start a blog” posts. That’s always been a good fit for people at Location 180, and if they do a good job on the post (truly make it useful) that’s one that doesnt bother me as much – solely because I know how valuable starting a blog can be for your life and goals. So if it’s some personal finance blogger that creates one and you start a blog from that by following their tutorial – all the better!
"Don't mess with Texas," was a well-known anti-litter campaign in that state. But if the ad had been aired without additional trashcans placed around the state, or without having been directed at specific group of people in Texas (such as youth, or immigrants, or tourists); it would have been nothing more than a catchy slogan. It wouldn't have been social marketing
The overall percentage of increased seat belt use in the United States was due to the widespread availability of seat belts, publicity from organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and stronger seat belt laws.1Click it or ticket, a program that demonstrated the importance of primary seat belt laws combined with effective publicity of enforcement, increased seat belt use in North Carolina from 63% to 80% and went on to become a national model.2
There is a lot that goes into creating an inbound marketing plan. But when it’s done right it can be one of the most valuable assets your marketing department has. As we like to say at Vital, “Plan the work; Work the plan.” To help get you started we have included a marketing plan template with accompanying excel calendars to help you plan and track throughout the year.

"Let Rita, Jim, and everyone else know we are EXTREMELY grateful for the excellent work you have done for us thus far, and that after the pizza party tomorrow, it's time to get back to work and start kicking some even MORE ass as this is just the beginning! :) Thanks again for everything, and well, enjoy tomorrow! No brown bag lunch for you! :). (client bought us pizza)" Derek S.

This is a small effect by clinical standards, but it shows that social marketing can have a big impact at the population level. For example, if the number of young people in the US was 40 million, 10.1 million would have smoked in 1999, and this would be reduced to 7.2 million by 2002. In this example, the Truth campaign would be responsible for nearly 640 000 young people not starting to smoke; this would result in millions of added life years and reductions in healthcare costs and other social costs.
Web designers are code-writers and graphics experts that are responsible for developing and implementing the online image of the product. This role involves creating not only the look of websites and applications, but engineering the user experience. A web designer should always pay attention to how easy the materials are to read and use, ensuring smooth interactions for the customer and making sure the form of the materials serve the function of the campaign.
One of your primary goals in conducting research is to set focus areas, which are the discipline in your plan, says Albritton. "It's easy to fragment your efforts without discipline," she says. "So set a clear definition for the type of customers you want." At this point you should tackle your priority geography and begin focusing on the product and service offering you do best.
After all the heavy lifting is complete, your strategy is in place and you have begun pulling together and implementing your tactical plans, it’s time to measure. In fact, even before you have implemented your strategy you should be measuring to establish your baseline. What have you done in the past and what were the results? How can those strategies shift to improve ROI? Measurement should be done before, during and after — throughout the year, on a monthly or even weekly basis — to ensure your plans are showing positive results and to shift them if they’re not.
Great article as it gets me thinking about the various ways to monetize my sites. With that said, my biggest hurdle has been how to get started building traffic. You see articles all over the net talking about massive traffic techniques, but I’ve never really found a guide for a fresh blog/website and how to get to their first 100, 500, or 1,000 daily uniques. Of course writing consistent quality content is key, but writing alone an audience does not make. Any tips or articles to point us to? Thanks again Sean!
In my experience, a common challenge is where to start drawing up your digital marketing plan. I think there is a fear that a massive report is required, but we believe that lean planning works best. Your plan doesn't need to be a huge report, a strategy can best be summarized in two or three sides of A4 in a table linking digital marketing strategies to SMART objectives within our RACE planning framework. We recommend creating a lean digital plan based on our 90-day planning templates to implement your digital plan rapidly to gain traction. You can learn more in our free download.
Brian Dean, an SEO expert and the creator of BackLinko, uses SEO tactics to rank #1 on YouTube for keywords like “on page SEO” and “video SEO”. Initially, Dean admits his YouTube account struggled to get any views. Employing SEO methods like keyword optimization has enabled Dean to rise to #1 on YouTube for search results related to his business. He published his full strategy on Backlinko.
2. Improved brand loyalty. According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. The report concludes “Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.” Another study published by Convince&Convert found that 53% of Americans who follow brands in social are more loyal to those brands.
If you were to explain what you do as a marketer to a 5-year-old and a grown man/woman, would you do it in the same way? Would it take the same amount of time? Would you use the exact same words? You would probably use some examples or analogies, but different ones in each case. That’s called essential intelligence and also goes by “defining your audience”.
For large commercial organizations, social marketing is often an effective way to encourage interest, participation, and donations for charitable foundations they support. One example is the Nike Foundation, which is working to help developing countries prosper through a campaign called The Girl Effect—using thought-provoking commercials that tell a story through text and music to gain Facebook fans and raise awareness for this cause.
Managing an effective social marketing campaign takes a lot of thought, resources, and elbow work. As in regular marketing, a lot of "behind the scenes" work takes place before a 30 second advertisement is ever aired. Effective efforts, however, have made huge differences in the lives of us all. Campaigns have helped us reduce our risks for heart disease and lung cancer; they helped us eradicate small pox and are helping us to realize what the World Health Organization terms, "a world without polio." Your organization, too, can use this powerful tool to help you achieve your goals.
Founder and President of Palo Alto Software and a renowned planning expert. He is listed in the index of "Fire in the Valley", by Swaine and Freiberger, the history of the personal computer industry. Tim contributes regularly to the bplans blog, the Huffingtonpost.com as well as his own blog, Planning, Startups, Stories. His full biography is available at www.timberry.com. Follow Tim onGoogle +
1. Increased Brand Recognition. Every opportunity you have to syndicate your content and increase your visibility is valuable. Your social media networks are just new channels for your brand’s voice and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier and more accessible for new customers, and makes you more familiar and recognizable for existing customers. For example, a frequent Twitter user could hear about your company for the first time only after stumbling upon it in a newsfeed. Or, an otherwise apathetic customer might become better acquainted with your brand after seeing your presence on multiple networks.
Forms of new media have also diversified how companies, brands, and ad networks serve ads to visitors. For instance, YouTube allows video-makers to embed advertisements through Google's affiliate network.[22][23] New developments have made it more difficult for unscrupulous affiliates to make money. Emerging black sheep are detected and made known to the affiliate marketing community with much greater speed and efficiency.[citation needed]
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